Friday, August 12, 2011

Pesky, and Very Cute, Fauna

I’ve got a bird feeder hanging on my deck, right outside the window next to my desk. I love watching the birds enjoy the seed, and hearing their happy chirping while they visit.

And I’m often amused by the antics of the squirrels, who go from sunning themselves on the deck railing to chatting up a storm to trying to outcon the Squirrel Buster Plus bird feeder. The certain result of the last item: The squirrels lose.

That feeder was worth every penny of the investment, and it took quite a number of pennies. (Note that it’s the Plus version that works well, according to the guy at the bird store — and my own experience.) It really does give those squirrels a run for their money, though it takes a good beating in the process from their tenacious nails.

The ring on the bottom where the birds perch is weight sensitive — and if too much weight lands on it, such as that of a squirrel or a large bird, a metal piece in the interior of the feeder rises and closes up the holes where seed are accessed. The buster blocks all manner of squirrel, from the larger grays to the smaller reds.

In addition to jumping right onto the ring, thereby closing the holes, these persistent fauna hop up onto the inclined metal arm that holds the feeder away from the deck and take a top-down approach. Sometimes they lose their footing and do a free fall, looking like they’re doing an acrobatic act on a swing high off the ground as they barely catch on to the bottom ring after their brief but death-defying ride through the air.

But one critter has bested the buster.

Apparently, Mr. Chipmunk is light enough that his presence on the ring doesn’t close the feeder holes. He’s quite the seed bandit, filling up his cheeks, disappearing and coming back to repeat the process. I told him if he was going to eat up our seed, he was going to have to let me take some pictures of him.
 Can you see how packed this guy’s cheeks are?

Actually, I was glad to see him today. Early yesterday I shooed him off the feeder and felt bad later because I thought it could have been one of his last meals. Yesterday afternoon a chipmunk got hit right at the end of the driveway.

So when I saw a fluffy  little tail draped over the feeding ring today, my heart felt a bit lighter.

Glad to have you back, cute buddy. Eat up.